Reproductive Justice for AAPI Women: The Ms. Q&A With Dr. Sophia Yen

The pandemic brought a surge of barriers for people seeking access to reproductive care and abortion, especially among women who identify as Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI)—from increased disease severity and mortality rates, to xenophobia and acts of violence.

For Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, Ms. spoke with Dr. Sophia Yen about the disparities that different racial groups face when it comes to medical treatment in reproductive health and how AAPI women and their allies can advocate for themselves and their communities.

A Pioneer in the Fight for Pregnancy Justice: The Ms. Q&A With Lynn Paltrow

In 1987, Attorney Lynn Paltrow defended Pamela Rae Stewart, a California woman criminally charged for failing to follow medical advice while pregnant. This case was one of the first attempts to criminalize a pregnant person for their actions and argue that fetuses have constitutional rights. In 2000, Paltrow started National Advocates for Pregnant Women, now called Pregnancy Justice, to defend pregnant people against criminalization and other deprivations of their rights.

“With half the population capable of pregnancy, what we have to do is change the conversation so that it is clear we are not just defending abortion, we are defending the personhood of the people who sometimes need abortions, but who always need to be treated as full rights-bearing, constitutional persons.”

Reflections From the Passenger Seat in the Wake of Dobbs: ‘We Go Forward, We Go Backward. We Keep Driving’

Throughout my childhood, my mom drove me thousands of miles through North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama and Florida—giving up weeknights and long weekends to eat Panera Bread, sleep in hotels, and watch girls’ youth soccer.

It was in that passenger seat I knew so well where I sat nervously at 15, asking my mom about birth control. I felt comfortable enough to ask for contraceptives, confident that I could obtain them, and blissfully ignorant of the thought that an unwanted pregnancy could one day kill me.  As I turned down the radio with sweaty palms, I was concerned with being late to practice and how my mom would react—not my right to exist in the world free of sex discrimination, or my rights to privacy and equal protection.

I am concerned with those things now. 

Over-the-Counter Birth Control Is Within Reach

A panel of advisors to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) unanimously voted on Wednesday to recommend the FDA approve the first over-the-counter birth control pill in the United States: Opill, a progestin-only birth control pill. The advisory panel decided the pros of making the pill available over the counter—including a significant increase in birth control access, especially for young women—outweigh any of the cons. Once approved, Opill would be available without an age restriction.

Emergency Contraception Is Often Confused With Abortion Pills. Here’s How Plan B and Other Generic Versions Work to Prevent Pregnancy

Since the overturning of Roe v. Wade in June 2022 and the end of constitutional protection for abortion, emergency contraception has become more difficult to obtain and—more than ever—shrouded in misinformation.

Regardless of one’s stance on abortion, it is important to understand why emergency contraception should be a basic component of women’s reproductive health care and family planning services.

Our Abortion Stories: ‘I Was in Danger Physically With My Ex-Boyfriend and Medically With the Pregnancy’

A series from Ms., Our Abortion Stories chronicles readers’ experiences of abortion pre- and post-Roe. Abortions are sought by a wide range of people, for many different reasons. There is no single story. Share your abortion story by emailing

“The nurses and professionals showed me more Christian love than I had ever experienced at my church. … This has never been about saving unborn children. It’s about controlling women. When will men be held accountable?”

Welfare Is a Human Right: How Black Mothers Fought Their Own War on Poverty With Annelise Orleck

In her book, Storming Caesars Palace: How Black Mothers Fought Their Own War on Poverty, Annelise Orleck not only shares the history of Clark County Welfare Right Organization’s (CCWRO) ascent and activism but also provides an insightful guide to community organizing.

“I loved the CCWRO’s insistence that poor women are experts on poverty and can run their own programs better than so-called professionals. And they did! … They demanded to know why a state that took tax revenue from gambling and prostitution was considered morally acceptable, but mothers trying to feed their kids were called cheaters. They were fearless.”

We Rise in Support of Black Women’s Fundamental Rights

The health of Black women is under constant attack. Women’s Reproductive Rights Assistance Project (WRRAP), the nation’s largest independent abortion fund, follows a reproductive justice model and continues to work in marginalized communities across the U.S. to provide abortion funding to providers on behalf of patients.

“We believe equality, equity and autonomy are fundamental rights. We believe every individual should have agency to make decisions about their own life and well-being. We believe governments should not have control over a woman’s body, as it violates their right to bodily autonomy and bodily integrity. We believe women should not be relegated to second-class status.”

Young People Don’t Know Their Emergency Contraception Options

Emergency contraception methods are ones people can use after they’ve had sex and are concerned with becoming pregnant. They work by preventing or delaying the release of an egg from the ovary to prevent pregnancy after the fact.

With young people facing increasing constraints on their reproductive health, they need to be aware of emergency contraceptive methods, where to get them and how to use them. However, the vast majority of providers aren’t counseling young people about emergency contraception. It’s key for healthcare providers to inform their patients about emergency contraception, and to offer a supply in advance to have at home.